By Ben Shanahan
Special to the Sentinel-Tribune
HOUGHTON, Mich. — It took overtime, but Bowling Green State University hockey defeated Michigan Tech, 2-1, Friday at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena.
One minute and four seconds into overtime, BGSU junior Owen Ozar called game, scoring the overtime winner. The Falcons improve to 5-10 overall and 3-4 in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association, while the Huskies fall to 6-7-3 and 4-3.
The Falcons turned the game around in the second half after MTU dominated the first 20 minutes.
“Really proud of our guys tonight. We got outplayed in the first period, but our guys stayed positive. We played really well the rest of the way. It was a very good team win.” said BGSU coach Ty Eigner.
Michigan Tech coach Joe Shawhan said his team did not play to its abilities.
“I thought the game completely lacked skill. No skill was involved at all. I do not think we were very good,” Shawhan said.
“Maybe a big part of it was that (MTU standout) Arvid Caderoth was not in the lineup tonight. Maybe it took that energy and heart for a guy to be out who logs a lot of minutes.
“I thought Blake Pietila played well. I thought a lot of guys really did not show up tonight physically,” Shawhan continued.
“We were OK mentally; it was not there. I thought our defense was not that good. We took a penalty in the second period in the offensive zone that took all the momentum. We took a penalty on the powerplay in the third.
“I thought we really beat ourselves up, but I do think the better team won. They took over the game in the second period, for sure.”
The opening 20 appeared to be a real feeling-out process as both teams had chances but shots did not find the net, with Michigan Tech leading the Falcons in shots, 13-6.
Both teams had one chance each on the power play in the first period, with Michigan Tech sophomore Kasper Vaharauito’s interference call being killed with 10:26 remaining.
BGSU sophomore Jack Blake was called for a trip, which the Falcons killed with 6:05 in the opening frame. Early in the second, BGSU junior Owen Ozar headed to the box after committing a trip, but the Falcons killed it off with 16:15 remaining.
The Huskies captain, Logan Pietila, finally broke the scoreless tie with 9:04 remaining. Freshman Isaac Gordan in the corner fired a pass through traffic to Pietila, who was wide open in front.
Just under four minutes later, the Falcons went back on the power play as MTU sophomore and Anaheim Ducks prospect Kyle Kukkonen headed to the sin bin for an interference call. This interference was killed off with 3:13 remaining in the middle frame.
In the dying seconds of the second, the Falcons were caught with too many men on the ice, setting the Huskies up on a power play for one minute, 58 seconds to start the final 20 minutes of regulation.
However, the Falcons killed off the too many men penalty to begin the third. With 16:06 left in regulation, Bowling Green tied it with Brandon Santa Juana’s first collegiate goal, making it 1-1.
Both teams went on the 4-on-4 as first, BGSU junior Tommy Pasanen was called for an elbow with 3:18 left, then Michigan Tech senior Ryland Mosley was sent to the box with 2:21 remaining.
Both teams killed off their minor penalties, and the game went into overtime, setting up Ozar’s game-winning goal.